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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Battle of the Bands had The Depot rocking out all night

Cannonmouth Collective earned first place and the chance to perform at the 13th Annual Rhythms Music Festival, hosted by Associated Students, featuring headliner Destroy Lonely
Andrew Fogel
The lead singer and guitarist of Grimmer plays during the Battle of the Bands in The Depot on Tuesday, April 23, 2024. (Andrew Fogel / Golden Gate Xpress)

Heads were banging, crowds were cheering, and loud music echoed throughout all floors in the Cesar Chavez Student Center. From 6-9 p.m. on April 23, students filled The Depot, immersing themselves in the energetic sounds of live music from multiple bands, jamming and rocking out together.

During the event, six bands had 20 minutes each to showcase their talents in front of approximately 100 students and a panel of judges to win $300 and earn the chance to be the opening act at the 13th Annual Rhythms Music Festival, hosted by Associated Students.

The Battle of the Bands was the first performance event of the festival. On Wednesday, April 24, The Depot will be back at it again, featuring the DJ Competition, whose winner will also open up for this year’s headliner, Destroy Lonely. The rapper is signed to Playboi Carti’s label, Opium, and will be performing at Annex I on Saturday, April 27, at 8 p.m.

When the spotlight was on them, each artist gave their performances their all and was completely in the zone. The pounding of the drums grew loud and captivating. The guitar riffs gave a punk rock vibe from the 2000s blended with a psychedelic vibe. 

The opening act, Wild Metanoia, set a great pace and expectation for the night. Their feel-good music quickly increased in pace as the drummer began to get in rhythm. The beat went dun-dun-DUN, dun-dun-DUN, dun-dun-DUN, dun-dun-DUN. After their performance, the band’s drummer, Joe Murray, was dripping in sweat and completely exhausted but was proud of their band’s performance.

“It’s definitely a part of the euphoria after you play a set. It’s really validating,” Murray said. “During a show, you’re going to be thinking about, ‘Oh, I fucked this up,’ but the audience had a good time. They don’t give a shit if you drop the stick, or break a string, so long as you were sick.”

The band’s bass player, Jesse Coppock, was also ecstatic about their performance. As he was jamming out, he began to bob his head back and forth, which made his long hair, which reached his elbows, move in a slow and hypnotic fashion. 

Ear plugs were available during the Battle of the Bands in The Depot on Tuesday, April 23, 2024. (Andrew Fogel / Golden Gate Xpress) (Andrew Fogel)

“When people come up to you, it’s nice and I still want to keep improving,” Coppock said. “I think what people say doesn’t stop [me] not wanting to make progress. I try to just be humble, and just try to improve individually.”

During each band’s transitions, members of the crowd would high-five or give compliments to them.

“I love you guys,” one fan cheered. 

“You guys rocked. Great job,” cheered another.

Most bands had three or four artists but Today’s Station had five. Their band relied more on instruments but formed their unique sound. At first, their music sounded soft and slow like Lil Peep, but then it turned into aggressive, full heavy metal like Metallica — the type of music your parents didn’t want you to listen to growing up. 

Charlie Wigul, the bassist and singer for Today’s Station, was particularly devoted to his songs. Veins bulged from his neck as he started to sing, and he was completely exhausted after his performance, which caused him to lose his voice.

“I like to say music saved my life because I’ve struggled with a lot of mental health issues and I release my emotions through either listening to music, making music, or writing music,” Wigul said. “It’s like a huge part of my life and just how I cope through each day.”

Most of Train Station’s band members, including Wigul, are from Berkeley. However, their lead singer attends SFSU and enrolled their band into the competition. After every band finished performing at 9 p.m., AS Productions announced that the band had placed in third.

Jazmin was the second-place band. As the closing act, the crowd was highly engaged by this point. Their music captivated the entire audience, and almost everyone’s head was bouncing in sync with their performance.

Following that, it was announced that the winner of this year’s Battle of the Bands was Cannonmouth Collective.

At first, Cannonmouth Collective sounded like a group of friends who picked up instruments and started playing random chords. However, this mixed sound and their engaging personalities were enough to earn them first place. 

There was some doubt in bass player Luke Gonzalez’s head, but the reaction from the crowd uplifted his and the band’s spirits to perform freely in their style. 

“I wasn’t sure because the other bands are really good. They kind of blew my mind a little bit,” Gonzalez said. “Lowkey, we were a little worried. But we knew that when we went up there, we were just gonna go fucking insane, and I think we achieved that. It sounded unattainable at first, but now, it’s a reality.” 

One member from Cannonmouth Collective spoke briefly to Gonzalez about their upcoming performance on Saturday, stating “You know what that means, we have to practice.” 

The band has four days to prepare for their next performance at Rhythms Music Festival. In the meantime, they’ll wait to hear who will also be performing with them during the DJ Competition on Wednesday night.

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About the Contributors
Bryan Chavez
Bryan Chavez, Multimedia Editor
Bryan Chavez (he/him) is a reporter for SF State’s Golden Gate Xpress. He is a senior pursuing a major in Journalism with a minor in Sociology. As a lifelong resident of the Bay Area, Bryan aspires to become a beat writer for the Golden State Warriors or any other major league sports team in the region. Beyond his journalistic pursuits, he enjoys engaging in hobbies such as hiking, painting, and building with Legos during his free time.
Andrew Fogel
Andrew Fogel, Photographer
Andrew Fogel is a photographer for Golden Gate Xpress and Xpress Magazine who’s majoring in photojournalism and minoring in labor and employment studies. If he’s not taking photos, Andrew can be found rooting for the various Philadelphia sports teams. He aspires to be either a staff photographer or a sports photographer in the future.

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